Having signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March, Sony and Honda have furthered their collaboration in electric vehicles by agreeing to create the joint venture company Sony Honda Mobility. The two Japanese conglomerates aren’t playing around – the plan is to start building “high-value-added” EVs, likely branded as Sony, in 2025.

The new company will be formally incorporated this year and is aimed at bringing together the strengths of each entity. Honda will offer its environmental, safety and vehicle body manufacturing technologies, mobility development capabilities and experience in managing aftersales services.

Sony, on the other hand, will bring to the table its development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies. The goal is to create a new generation of mobility and related services that are “closely aligned with users and environment.” The two companies also plan to evolve these offerings in the future, suggesting a long-term partnership.

While still subject to regulatory approvals, Sony Honda Mobility is planned to be headquartered in Tokyo and involve an initial investment of 10 billion yen (RM329.3 million). Honda’s senior managing officer Yasuhide Mizuno is set to become the chairman and chief executive officer of the company, with Sony’s executive vice president Izumi Kawanishi assuming the role of president and chief operating officer.

Sony Vision-S 02

“Based on our vision to “make the mobility space an emotional one,” Sony’s initiatives in the mobility business are centered around the three areas of safety, entertainment and adaptability,” said Sony chairman, president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. “As we continue our learnings in these areas, we are excited to have met a partner, Honda, with extensive global achievements and knowledge, and to sign the joint venture agreement between the two companies.”

Honda president and CEO Toshihiro Mibe added: “We are very pleased to have signed a joint venture agreement with Sony, which has strengths in advanced digital technology, and shares our desire to take on new challenges. Since its announcement in March, many people have expressed their expectations for this joint venture. At the new company, we will strive to create new value through the fusion brought about by the combination of our different industries, so please look forward to future developments.”

The joint venture is just the latest development in Sony’s very obvious desire to enter the automotive industry. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech giant stunned the world with the Vision-S, ostensibly a concept meant to flex the company’s imaging and entertainment might.

Sony Vision-S 01

It was certainly chock full of the company’s trademark tech. It came with cameras for enhanced visibility and autonomous driving functionality, an array of giant displays on the dashboard, streaming services for Sony’s vast movie, TV and film catalogue, speakers in the headrests, surround sound audio and even the ability to remotely connect to a PlayStation console for playing video games.

But the relatively nondescript sedan also looked remarkably production-ready for a tech showcase, and Sony even rattled off some specs that included a 536 hp dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain and a zero-to-100 km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds. The fact that the company then conducted road tests with a prototype only served to highlight its true intentions – even as it repeatedly denied any desire to build a car.

Sony finally came clean at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which coincided with the reveal of the Vision-S 02 seven-seater SUV. The company announced that it was studying an entry into the EV market with the creation of a new company, which became Sony Honda Mobility after it found a carmaker partner in Honda.

GALLERY: Sony Vision-S 01

GALLERY: Sony Vision-S 02